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Author Topic: black background of web pages  (Read 7186 times)
BobCole
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« on: March 04, 2006, 03:09:42 PM »
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I love the site, but find the web pages printed white on black quite hard to read.  It looks neat, but it would be great if you could use a format that is a bit more friendly on the eyes.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2006, 03:47:37 PM »
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I, too, find it considerably more difficult to read than black-on-white.

Lisa
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dbell
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2006, 04:51:48 PM »
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I'll be the contrary one. I find a dark background with bright text easier on my eyes than the opposite, especially after a whole day of it. Just one opinion.


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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2006, 08:44:35 PM »
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I love the site, but find the web pages printed white on black quite hard to read.  It looks neat, but it would be great if you could use a format that is a bit more friendly on the eyes.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59534\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Well, I suppose you could capture each screenful and load it into Photoshop and then do "Image -> Adjustments -> Invert".    
Might not leave much time for photography, though.

I guess I've gotten used to it, so I don't mind it. Actually, I find yellow type on a medium blue background quite restful on the eyes. That's what I always set my screen colors to back in DOS days (before most of you were born).

Eric
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BobCole
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2006, 09:13:18 PM »
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Actually, I find yellow type on a medium blue background quite restful on the eyes. That's what I always set my screen colors to back in DOS days (before most of you were born).

Eric
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I remember that!   I liked that too, but that is far less contrasty than white on black.  

Now that you mention it, I also recall in the distant past, that one of the neatest things about the new-fangled Macintosh computer was that it could use black fonts on a light gray background.  

For a discussion of research about this issue, see [a href=\"http://hubel.sfasu.edu/research/AHNCUR.html]Readability of Websites[/url].)

Again,  love the website, am terrifically impressed by the content and the resources, and even like the basic design, but whew -- my eyes get tired, and it cuts back on how much I can read.

With respect,

-- Bob Cole
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Craig Arnold
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2006, 03:12:33 PM »
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I remember that!   I liked that too, but that is far less contrasty than white on black. 

Now that you mention it, I also recall in the distant past, that one of the neatest things about the new-fangled Macintosh computer was that it could use black fonts on a light gray background.   

For a discussion of research about this issue, see Readability of Websites.)

Again,  love the website, am terrifically impressed by the content and the resources, and even like the basic design, but whew -- my eyes get tired, and it cuts back on how much I can read.

With respect,

-- Bob Cole
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59552\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree, the easiest colours to read are black text on grey background. I far prefer a black background with white or grey text to a white background though.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2006, 03:33:27 PM »
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It should be green on black.  And no more than 40 columns.  The apple 80 column card was the tool of the devil.
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2006, 04:44:57 PM »
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Looks as though their are as many opinions as people. For those who find light text on black hard on the eyes a quick but crude fix is simply to drag over the text with the mouse button down as if to do a copy+paste. In Windows at least that inverts the colours.
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Pelao
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2006, 06:08:19 PM »
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For those of you who write a lot and have preferences about the background / text colours, have a look at Ulysses. It is not a word processor, rather a writing tool. You can set the writing area however you want, and even go to a very nice full screen mode. In the latter I use a gentle orange text on black.
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2006, 07:07:04 PM »
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Wouldn't it be nice if readers were given the option to customize page and font colors?

Seems as if it would take a small programming tweak.
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Woodcorner
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2006, 03:31:48 AM »
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Wouldn't it be nice if readers were given the option to customize page and font colors?

Seems as if it would take a small programming tweak.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Allowing the user to switch between designs can easily be implemented when a website is skillfully laid out with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

There is a nice site covering the topic, where a standard HTML page is rendered into hundreds of different designs by just applying a different stylesheet (sort of a template):
[a href=\"http://www.csszengarden.com/]css Zen Garden: The Beauty in CSS Design[/url]

Cheers
Andrew
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Ronny Nilsen
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2006, 04:10:16 AM »
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Wouldn't it be nice if readers were given the option to customize page and font colors?

Seems as if it would take a small programming tweak.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59648\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You can do that yourself. If you use Firefox with some plugins you can disable the stylesheet (CSS) and have black on white, or you can supply your own and have any colors and fonts you like.

If you use a good browser you are free to view the content any way you like. No need to change things on the site to get this.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 04:12:21 AM by ronnynil » Logged

David Mantripp
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2006, 07:04:18 AM »
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 an absolute classic of total cluelessness - an article on readability of websites which is in itself presented on a totally unreadable web site. Light green type on a lemon background, with no attempt to keep text lines to a readable length.  Preach before practice. As usual.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2006, 03:51:56 PM »
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an absolute classic of total cluelessness - an article on readability of websites which is in itself presented on a totally unreadable web site. Light green type on a lemon background, with no attempt to keep text lines to a readable length.  Preach before practice. As usual.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59677\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Did you read it?

From their research the colours used on the page actually have the best readability reaction times so they are in fact practicing what they preach. My first reaction was similar to yours but read it and you might be surprised.

Also, the line length is dependent on your screen size and will look best on an 800x600 monitor. Just adjust the window size and it looks better. The writers are academics not designers.
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Nick Rains
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2006, 08:12:17 PM »
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The writers are academics not designers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59732\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
That is quite evident.  
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Ronny Nilsen
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2006, 12:31:22 AM »
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That is quite evident.   
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59755\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The sad part is that it's still easier to read that document than a fancy webpage made by a professional web designer taking money to make a site unreadable.  

I like the LL site, and as I said, if you use a modern browser you can se the content in any way you like.

At the turn of the century IE was probably the best browser you could get, but today you could probably not get anything worse.  
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Pelao
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2006, 06:18:59 AM »
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The sad part is that it's still easier to read that document than a fancy webpage made by a professional web designer taking money to make a site unreadable.

We design sites for individuals and corporations and see eamples of this quite often. A common cause is that the site is designed only as a piece of art, rather than a functional tool.  The wishes of the designer are paramount, resulting in something that can look pretty at first glance, but does not achieve the aims of the site.

The more effective approach is to work from the outside in so that the design team understands the target market and the culture of the site owners. A well designed site wll effectively speak for the owner when the latter is not present.

To be fair though, there are occasions when site owners insist on adapting a look and feel which they find attractive, even if the navigation and overall design is poor. These designs actually stand between users and the site's content. So unless the content is outstanding users move on - the competition is not too far away.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 06:21:47 AM by Pelao » Logged
David Mantripp
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2006, 08:22:29 AM »
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Did you read it?

From their research the colours used on the page actually have the best readability reaction times so they are in fact practicing what they preach. My first reaction was similar to yours but read it and you might be surprised.

Also, the line length is dependent on your screen size and will look best on an 800x600 monitor. Just adjust the window size and it looks better. The writers are academics not designers.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, I did, albeit quickly, as it is especially interesting to me since I am a professional usability consultant.  Actually, they admit that the theoretical results seem to conflict with observed reaction, which is not unusual. This stuff is very hard - but not impossible - to get objectively right.

However, what they measured was recognition reaction time - the weakness of the paper seems to be that it strongly correlates this with readibility, which is a leap too far.

If you're interested, another view can be found here:

[a href=\"http://webtypography.net/]http://webtypography.net/[/url]

oh, and:

Quote
Also, the line length is dependent on your screen size

no, it isn't. Or at least, it doesn't have to be.
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2006, 12:34:42 PM »
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Somebody mentioned the Zen Garden site. Something like that is extremely easy to implement, if, like the previous poster said, you use cascading style sheets - which quite frankly anyone in the design world should be doing  

There is a great piece of script that can be found here that enables your site visitors to click on a link and have the style of the page switch to an alternate one you have provided. So, for simple ease of use to solve the problems mentioned about white on black sites, provide an alternate stylesheet with black on white, and maybe another with black on grey, or whatever. All it would need was the background-color and color values changing in the stylesheets, not a complete redesign (maybe link color changes, depending on what is set already) and Bob's your uncle.

I have used this styleswitcher before and it works well.
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